Tales From a Rural Route: The Birth of Crasher

I have a nickname: Crash. Some use a variation: Crasher, Captain Crash, but there were times in my life when more people knew me by Crash than they did Tony. The name started during my time working at Long John Silver in La Grange. Long John’s was my first non farm job and the best thing about my time there were my coworkers. Greg Donaldson, Clayton Miller and several other friends worked there.

The downside? They played Yo-ho-ho and a Bottle of Rum over and over and you often ended the night smelling like shrimp. Not recommended as a man-about-town fragrance. In fact, I quit because after working late one shift I showed up to a party my girlfriend gave without going home and taking a shower first and she refused to hug me over the shrimp smell. I gave my two week notice the next day.

Another drawback to the job resulted from all the grease on the floor and it getting on our shoes. Late one night after work, I was driving my dad’s old 67 red Ford pickup, affectionately named Red Baron. The truck showed more rust spots and dents than paint and featured a stick shift. I put the truck in reverse and backed up to within a foot of the supervisors car, a small compact model. While switching from reverse to first, the grease on my foot caused it to slip off the clutch and the truck lurched backwards two feet.

When I looked over my shoulder, my supervisors car had disappeared. I shoved the car in park and got out of the truck. My bosses’ car ended up being shoved over a concrete barrier and down a hill into the TG&Y parking lot. It came to a stop without hitting another car and other than a small dent to her bumper, no real harm done.

The store manager a week before totaled his car and we called him scratch. He decided my new nickname would be Crash.

A few years later, while working at a Pony Express Pizza, there were two Toms, a Terry and a Tony. The store owner kept confusing us and wanted to know what our nicknames were and Crash became what everyone called me. In fact, when one of my “normal” friends would call the store and ask for Tony, no one knew who he was.

I have a blue jacket with Crash on written in large letters on the back and I’ve been offered good cash to sell it on several occasions. I can’t seem to part with it and still wear it from time to time.

Considering some of the other things people called me over the years, being called Crasher is something I can live with.

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